Life Insurance For People With Asthma In July, 2024

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Updated: 17 May 2024
Written by Bob Phillips
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Asthma sufferers looking around for life insurance coverage might be wondering if they’re even eligible for it, and if they are, how expensive it will be. The realm of insurance can be a bewildering place with unfamiliar terminology and medical words. After conducting a lot of research and collating our findings, we’re here to help you get life insurance that will suit your needs.

The data we’ve gathered about life insurance for asthma might help you make an informed decision when it comes time to choose a type of policy. We’ve looked into life insurance and how it works for people with asthma, in order to provide you with useful information.

Advancements in the medical world along with a better knowledge of the condition itself has changed life insurance for those with asthma. We’ll provide you information about different types of life insurance, as well as how to qualify for it, life insurance options, coverage, what to do if your application for insurance has been declined, and more.

This article can help you find and purchase life insurance that works well for your situation and circumstances.

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance rates are typically higher for asthma

  • The life insurance underwriting process for asthma might be lengthier and more complicated

  • Life insurance is available for asthma

Can People With Asthma Get Life Insurance?

Yes, people with asthma can get life insurance, even though it might have more expensive rates than average.

However, those with asthma weren’t always able to get life insurance as they can nowadays. Before advancements in medicine and a greater understanding of asthma altered the insurance industry’s mindset on this condition, people with asthma were frequently denied life insurance coverage. Many top insurance providers provide whole life insurance these days, and term life, as well.

It’s encouraging that life insurance options are open for those with asthma, but not all life insurance providers will offer it. However, there are numerous insurers that do provide policies for this condition. So, if you need life insurance and have a history of asthma, you can still get coverage. Your rates might be higher, but you’ll be able to purchase the life insurance coverage you need.

Important: Life insurance for asthma is available, though the coverage might be limited and potentially more expensive.

How Asthma Affects Life Insurance 

Those with asthma could discover that traditional life insurance isn’t available for them. However, there are providers that offer special coverage and will issue life insurance to people with asthma. If you have asthma and been denied life insurance, you may meet the requirements for group life insurance, or guaranteed issue life insurance.

Anyone shopping around for life insurance may find some relevant information about it helpful. Research can be time-consuming, but having a life insurance policy is invaluable for the peace of mind it gives. If you are diagnosed with asthma after purchasing life insurance, you can’t have your policy canceled. There are actually only two reasons any life insurance company can cancel an existing policy:

  • Fraudulent statements made on your insurance application 
  • Failure to pay premiums 

An insurance provider cannot raise premiums for a diagnosis of asthma after coverage was initiated.

Important: A life insurance policy can’t be rescinded or have the rates raised if you’re diagnosed with asthma after the policy has been issued.

Life Insurance Underwriting Process For Asthma

If you have asthma, you may find out that buying life insurance isn’t easy. It could be helpful to gain some understanding of underwriting. Here are 5 factors that will be taken into consideration during the underwriting process:

  1. Date of your diagnosis: The insurance company will ask when you were  diagnosed with asthma
  2. Severity of your condition: Insurance companies will inquire about the severity of your asthma, how often you have symptoms, as well as what triggers your asthma attacks
  3. Treatment: The insurer will ask what medications you’re taking to manage your asthma, and whether you’ve ever been hospitalized or needed emergency medical care for your condition
  4. Frequency of doctor visits: Insurance providers may also ask how often you see your physician for your asthma, and if you’ve been following the treatment plan your doctor recommended
  5. Lifestyle factors: Insurance companies might ask about your smoking habits as well as other lifestyle habits that might worsen your asthma

What Do Life Insurance Companies Consider With Asthma?

Securing life insurance if you have asthma entails several elements of underwriting.

For example, underwriters will look at any other health problems you might have. They will review your lab tests and blood work, too. Another critical point will be what kind of medication you’re taking to treat your asthma, if any.

If you’re wondering why asthma is a big deal to insurers, it’s because they understand how serious it can be, as well as how dangerous it can be if not managed properly.

According to a recent study, nearly 11 Americans die from asthma every day, over 4,000 each year in total. It is also theorized that asthma may be a contributing factor in the deaths of an additional 7000 Americans every year, as well.

A lot of these deaths from asthma and its complications could be avoided with proper care and treatment. This is why the majority of life insurance carriers will consider someone eligible for a traditional life insurance policy. If they see that you’re proactively managing your condition, your chances of being approved increase significantly as compared to someone else with asthma who is not being preventative.

Best Type Of Life Insurance For Asthma

Asthmatics have choices for life insurance coverage. Although there are providers that will deny you coverage, there are others that will approve your application.

Here are 5 types of life insurance that are alternatives to traditional life insurance for those with asthma:

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance offers coverage for a specific period of time, usually 10-25 years. It’s less expensive than whole life insurance, and might actually be a wiser choice for a person with asthma. If you want to get a large amount of coverage at less cost than whole life insurance, term life may be your best bet.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance gives you life insurance coverage for your entire lifetime. It’s different than term life insurance because it doesn’t end after a certain period of time. One nice thing about whole life insurance is that it builds cash value over time, with death benefits  guaranteed. Whole life insurance is more expensive than term life, more so for asthma.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is an attractive option if you can get it. It’s normally offered through an employer or other group. If you have access to group life insurance, there is no complex application or physical exam, so it’s a sure thing for you if you have asthma.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

If you have asthma, you don’t have to worry about being denied coverage by every insurance company. Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance, for example, actually is guaranteed. No matter what your health problems may be, Guaranteed Issue life insurance will provide you with coverage.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Final Expense Life Insurance is specially designed for end of life expenses such as funeral, cremation, burial costs, and more. It will usually have more lenient underwriting than standard life insurance. If you have asthma, this could be a practical option.

Tip: Living benefit riders can also be a lifeline for individuals living with asthma. These optional additions to your policy can allow you to access a portion of your death benefit while still alive to help cover treatment expenses.

How You Can Buy Life Insurance With Asthma

Research Your Options

The first thing to do if you’re looking to purchase life insurance is to research the various types available, as well as coverage of each one. While it’s true that there are some insurers that will deny coverage to you if you have asthma, others are more lenient. Just cross the companies that won’t issue a policy off your list, and narrow your choices down to about three that will insure you with asthma.


Understand the Underwriting Process

All applications for life insurance will have questions about your health and your medical history. Understand that the  underwriting is going to be considerably more exhaustive for people with asthma. If you can get coverage, the policy might cost more than traditional life insurance.


Consider Employer or Group Coverage

If you have an opportunity to get group life insurance through an employer or other group, it might well be the best option for you. A group policy offers coverage regardless of your health problems, which makes it an ideal choice for someone with asthma.


Apply for Coverage

When you have narrowed your choices down to one that seems most likely to suit your insurance needs, submit an application. This might mean answering health questions, and/or having a medical examination.


How Much Does Life Insurance Cost If You Have Asthma?

Life insurance is probably going to be significantly higher for people with asthma. Rates can vary a lot from one provider to another, so look around before deciding on a carrier.

Age Gender $500,000 Coverage Amount
20 Female $22.63
Male $30.22
30 Female $22.97
Male $29.31
40 Female $35.28
Male $42.95
50 Female $78.28
Male $102.52

How To Qualify For Life Insurance With Asthma

There are several things you can do to boost your chances of being approved for life insurance if you have asthma.

  • If you smoke – consider quitting. Insurance companies don’t want to insure people with lung conditions that smoke. They could decline your application if you’re smoking or using tobacco, so give it up.
  • Staying active with no exacerbating episodes for the past 1-3 years…such as missing work or an emergency room visit due to an asthma flare up…an application for life insurance will be seen more favorably.
  • An asthmatic with a record of good management of their condition can have an almost normal life expectancy. This means being compliant with your doctor’s orders, taking meds as ordered, having a healthy lifestyle and other factors will be a mark in your favor when it comes to underwriting.

Can Insurance Companies Deny Coverage If You Have Asthma?

Yes, an insurance provider can opt to decline coverage if you have asthma. However, if you  are proactive about managing your condition and leading a healthy lifestyle, many will issue coverage. You might have higher  rates than standard, but if you’re in good health other than asthma, you might get a standard rating.

What Will Insurers Ask About Your Condition?

Here are some questions you’re likely to be asked by an underwriter if you make an application for life insurance with asthma:

  • How old were you when you were first diagnosed with asthma?
  • Are your asthma attacks seasonal or year-round?
  • How often do you suffer from attacks?
  • When was your last asthma attack?
  • What medications are you taking for asthma?
  • Are any of the medications steroids?
  • Have you been hospitalized for asthma, and if so, when?

Life Insurance Options If You Have Been Denied Coverage Due To Asthma

For asthmatics, a Graded Death Benefit policy might be an acceptable alternative to traditional life insurance. Its benefits increase over time, so the longer you have it, the greater the value.

Group insurance is one of the best alternatives if you’ve been declined for traditional life insurance. In the majority of cases, there’s no application or medical exam, and  pre-existing conditions aren’t excluded from coverage.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance is yet another alternative if you’ve been denied traditional life insurance coverage, as it’s guaranteed to be issued. However, it is usually accompanied by an increased rate and a smaller amount of coverage. This means it may not be a good first choice for someone with asthma.

Important: Guaranteed issue policies are an excellent option if other companies have denied your application for whole, universal, or term life insurance policies.

Tips For Choosing The Right Policy

For people with asthma, deciding on a life insurance policy is a major step. Here are some tips to help facilitate your search:

Here Are Three Tips To Make Your Search Easier:

  1. Know Your Needs: Having a good idea about how much life insurance you need is critical. You don’t want to have too much coverage, but you don’t want to not have enough, either. If you’re unsure about determining the right amount of coverage, it might be a good idea to talk to an agent who is knowledgeable about life insurance, and can help you in calculating your needs.
  2. Explore Policy Types: For people with asthma, a graded death benefit or guaranteed issue policy might be good for your life insurance needs. These types of life insurance are designed especially for people with a pre-existing condition.
  3. Use Specialized Services: A specialized service such as Insuranceopedia, that collects quotes from different insurers and allows you to compare rates, can be a great deal of assistance in finding the best life insurance if you have asthma.

Information About Asthma

Asthma is a pre-existing medical condition defined by the narrowing and/or swelling of  your airways, combined with production of extra mucus that can be caused by various factors typically used to define the type of asthma you may suffer from, which include:

  • Adult-Onset Asthma
  • Allergic Asthma
  • Asthma-COPD overlap
  • Non-allergic Asthma
  • Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB)
  • Occupational Asthma

Genetic predisposition to asthma, along with air pollution, has caused asthma rates to more than double in the last seventeen years.

Other Health Concerns That Can Affect Your Life Insurance

Insurance providers will evaluate an applicant, then calculate the risk factor to determine whether they will insure the person. This normally involves an application plus a medical examination.

Below are seventeen health conditions that could have an effect on your approval for life insurance:

  • Heart Disease: Heart disease is a common but quite serious health problem that may cause denial of life insurance or increased rates
  • Obesity: If you are overweight with a high BMI (Body Mass Index) could make your rates higher
  • AIDS: Medical advances have caused a lot of insurance carriers to change their position on issuing insurance policies to people with asthma
  • Cancer: Based on the type and stage of cancer, it can have a  big influence on acceptance or denial of life insurance coverage
  • High Cholesterol: If your cholesterol is above the normal level of  200 over a period of several months, you’ll have a raise in your insurance rates
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia: These conditions may have comorbidities such as kidney failure, so they can affect insurability
  • Diabetes: Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes will usually cause increased rates
  • Kidney Disease: Having Chronic Kidney Disease usually means higher rates
  • Depression: Mental health conditions like schizophrenia, depression and others may have an impact on insurance rates
  • Lung Disease: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, will usually cause higher premiums
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease, and will lead to higher insurance rates
  • Stroke: A history of stroke, or Cardiovascular Accident (CVA) may cause insurance premiums to go up
  • Bipolar
  • Substance Use Disorders: A history of drug and/or alcohol abuse can affect your insurance rates
  • Liver Disease: Fatty liver, cirrhosis of the liver, or other liver diseases will increase the cost of your premiums
  • Depression: Mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression and others may have an impact on insurance rates
  • Sleep Apnea: This condition might cause your premiums to increase
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Epilepsy


Do People With Asthma Qualify For Life Insurance?

Yes, it is possible to qualify for life insurance after being diagnosed with asthma. However, the type and amount of coverage you may qualify for can be impacted by the severity of your asthma, your age, and other factors.

What Insurance Is Best For asthma?

For asthma who have been declined for traditional life insurance coverage, a Guaranteed Issue policy might be an option.

Is Asthma Classed As Having a Critical Illness In Insurance?

No, asthma isn’t classed as a critical illness for insurance underwriting.

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